Sentence Time Calculators
The Inmate Records Coordinator (IRC) at each DOCCS correctional facility is responsible for sentence time calculations.
When an individual is received by DOCCS, the IRC at the facility will determine the amount of pre-commitment jail time credit to be applied to their sentence and determine their earliest possible release date, merit and conditional release dates, if applicable, and the maximum expiration date of their sentence.
Incarcerated individuals who have questions about their time computation must first address their questions and concerns with the IRC at the correctional facility where they are incarcerated. If the issue is specific to the amount of sentence jail time being applied to their sentence, the incarcerated individual must write to the sentencing court or local jail where they were incarcerated and attempt to correct the matter by securing documentation that authenticates the amount of jail time credit that is to be applied to their sentence.
Any information or documentation received by the incarcerated individual must be provided to the IRC for purposes of review and verification. If a change in the amount of sentence jail credit is warranted, the IRC will make the necessary changes and update their official time computation.
Parolees with questions or concerns about pre-commitment jail time credit must contact the sentencing court or local jail where they were incarcerated prior to their admission to DOCCS, and attempt to correct the matter by securing documentation that authenticates the amount of sentence jail time credit to be applied to their sentence.
Any information or documentation received by the parolee must be provided to the assigned PO for purposes of review and verification. If a change in the amount of sentence jail credit is warranted, the PO will provide the information to the appropriate IRC to seek a modification in the amount of pre-commitment jail time credit.
Questions and concerns regarding general time computation issues should be referred to the DOCCS Office of Sentencing Review.
Incarcerated individuals or parolees who have specific questions or concerns about the amount of parole jail time credit received, the established delinquency date, or the time assessment imposed following a revocation of community supervision should contact the Supervising Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator (SORC) at the DOCCS facility where the incarcerated individual is presently confined or the Senior Parole Officer (SPO) assigned to the case when they were last supervised in the community.
The SORC or SPO will look into the matter and, if necessary, take appropriate action regarding parole jail time credit, the date of delinquency, or the revocation time assessment.
Indeterminate vs. Determinate Sentences
An indeterminate sentence is one in which the sentencing court has established the minimum period of imprisonment and maximum term of imprisonment. After an incarcerated individual completes the minimum period of incarceration, they become eligible to appear before the Board of Parole for discretionary release consideration. If the Parole Board grants parole, the incarcerated individual will be subject to a period of community supervision until the completion of their sentence.
A determinate sentence, or “flat” sentence, is one in which the sentencing court is authorized to set a maximum term of incarceration in whole or half years. Under Chapter 1 of the Laws of 1998 (Jenna's Law), determinate sentences must also include a separate period of post-release supervision (see Section Two).
The Board of Parole has no discretionary authority with regard to release on a determinate sentence. An incarcerated individual is released by operation of law and is required to serve a period of post-release supervision. The applicable period of post-release supervision is imposed by the sentencing court.
Section 70.40 of the New York State Penal Law states that incarcerated individuals may earn time allowances (good time) off their maximum term of imprisonment for good institutional behavior. A good time allowance is granted by DOCCS under Section 803 of the Correction Law.
Temporary Release Program
Temporary Release is a program under which eligible and approved participants are granted the privilege of leaving correctional facilities to participate in:
- work release
- day reporting
- furloughs involving alcohol and substance abuse treatment
- educational release
- industrial training leave
- community service leave
- and leave of absence
Information regarding the Temporary Release Program may be obtained from the Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator (ORC) or the Supervising Offender Rehabilitation Coordinator (SORC) at the facility of confinement. The ORC and the SORC are in the best position to provide information regarding eligibility, the application process, and the requirements of the program.
The Temporary Release Committee (TRC) comprised of DOCCS personnel is responsible for determining which incarcerated individuals will be recommended for participation in the program. If approved, the participant will be supervised by a Parole Officer in the community setting.
Types of Release
The following are ways individuals may be released from prison:
A. Discretionary release by the Board of Parole (Initial or Reappearance Interviews)
B. Merit Time Release
C. Completion of the Shock Incarceration Program
D. Presumptive Release
E. Limited Credit Time Allowance
F. Early Conditional Parole for Deportation Only/Conditional Parole for Deportation Only
G. Medical Parole
H. Conditional Release (CR)
I. Maximum Expiration (reaching the maximum expiration date of sentence)
A. Discretionary Release
Discretionary Release or "Parole" is a type of release granted by the Board of Parole as a matter of discretion after an incarcerated individual has served the statutory minimum of their indeterminate or mixed sentence. Their first appearance before the Board, where the earliest release date is the court-imposed minimum (parole eligibility date), is called an Initial Appearance. Any subsequent appearance is referred to as a Reappearance as it is past the parole eligibility date (PED).
B. Merit Time
Individuals serving sentences for certain non-violent crimes may receive merit time allowances against their sentences provided they have achieved defined programmatic objectives, have not committed any serious disciplinary infractions, and have not filed any frivolous lawsuits. Merit time allowances enable individuals indeterminately sentenced to appear before the Board of Parole for possible early release on parole on their merit eligibility dates and certain determinately sentenced individuals may also receive merit time allowances against their sentences allowing for early release to community supervision.
Merit Time Eligibility
1. Crime and Sentence Criteria
- An incarcerated individual cannot be presently serving a sentence for an A-I felony other than an A-I felony defined in Article 220 of the Penal Law or a violent felony offense (includes any sentence imposed for a violent felony offense in another state).
- An incarcerated individual cannot be presently serving a sentence for any of the following or any attempt thereof:
- Manslaughter 2nd;
- Vehicular Manslaughter 1st or 2nd;
- Criminally Negligent Homicide;
- Any offense defined in Article 130 of the Penal Law (sex offenses);
- Any offense defined in Article 263 of the Penal Law (use of a child in a sex performance); or
- Aggravated Harassment of a DOCCS employee by an incarcerated individual.
- An incarcerated individual cannot be presently serving an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment authorized for an A-I felony other than an A-I felony defined in Article 220 of the Penal Law.
- An incarcerated individual must be serving a sentence of one year or more.
2. Disciplinary criteria
An incarcerated individual must not commit any serious infraction. A serious disciplinary infraction is defined as behavior which results in criminal or disciplinary sanctions as follows:
- Any conviction for a state or federal crime committed after the incarcerated individual was committed to DOCCS;
- A final disposition at a Tier II or Tier III hearing in violation of any of the rules as described in 7 NYCRR Section 270.2, or any violations for serious misconduct as described in the incarcerated individual rule book “Standards of Inmate Behavior”;
- Receipt of a disciplinary sanction at a Tier III hearing of 60 or more days of SHU and/or Keeplock time, if the time served was 60 days or more on the particular penalty; or
- Receipt of any recommended loss of good time as a disciplinary sanction at a Tier III hearing.
3. Frivolous Lawsuit
An incarcerated individual must not have filed an action, proceeding, or claim against a State Agency Officer or employee that was found to be frivolous pursuant to:
- Section 8303-a of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, or
- Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
4. Program Criteria
- Incarcerated individuals must successfully perform and pursue their most recently assigned Earned Eligibility Plan or Program Plan; and
- Subsequent to the date of the most recently assigned Earned Eligibility Plan or Program Plan, incarcerated individuals must undertake and complete one of the following:
- Earn a General Equivalency Diploma (GED);
- Receive an alcohol and substance abuse treatment certificate;
- Receive a vocational trade certificate following at least six (6) months of programming in that program; or
- Perform 400 hours or more of service as part of a community work crew or outside assignment.
An Earned Eligibility Plan is a work and treatment program applicable to an incarcerated individual serving a minimum term of not more than eight years. A Program Plan is a work and treatment program applicable to an incarcerated individual serving a minimum term that exceeds eight years.
Incarcerated individuals are not eligible for merit time if they failed to successfully complete the Shock Incarceration program for any reason other than an intervening circumstance beyond their control. Those refusing the Shock Incarceration program at reception are deemed ineligible for merit time consideration for six (6) months from the refusal date or after the graduation date of the platoon in which the incarcerated individual would have joined while in the program.
Incarcerated individuals are not eligible for merit time if they were removed from a Temporary Release program for any reason other than an intervening circumstance beyond their control.
An incarcerated individual is also not eligible for merit time if placed in a relapse program.
5. Effect on the Sentence
a. Indeterminate sentences: The merit time allowance is one-third of the minimum term or period imposed by the court for an incarcerated individual convicted of an A-I felony under Article 220 of the Penal Law and one-sixth of the minimum term or period imposed by the court for an incarcerated individual convicted of any other eligible offense. Individuals serving sentences for any A-II through E felony drug offense may earn supplemental merit time in the amount of an additional one-sixth of the minimum portion of the sentence imposed for the drug felony if they have either:
- Completed two or more of the four possible merit program objectives listed in 4, b, i – iv above; or
- Completed one of the four program objectives and also successfully maintained employment in a work release program or other continuous temporary release program for a period of not less than three months.
b. Determinate sentences: The merit time allowance is an additional one-seventh of the determinate term imposed by the court for an eligible offense.
C. Shock Incarceration
Shock incarceration is a program under the jurisdiction of DOCCS in which selected, eligible individuals participate in a structured six-month program at a Shock Incarceration facility. Generally, participants who successfully complete the program are issued a Certificate of Earned Eligibility and are immediately eligible for release consideration prior to completing the minimum period of the court-imposed sentence.
D. Presumptive Release
In 2003, Section 806 of the Correction Law was amended to enable the Department to grant Presumptive Release to an eligible incarcerated individual upon serving a prescribed term of their indeterminate sentence. If eligible, individuals may be entitled to Presumptive Release at the expiration of five-sixths of the minimum term or aggregate minimum term.
To be eligible for Presumptive Release, individuals must meet the criteria for Merit Time as noted above and may not be currently serving or previously convicted of any of the following:
- An A-I felony offense
- A Penal Law Section 70.02 violent felony offense
- Manslaughter 2nd degree
- Vehicular Manslaughter 1st and 2nd degree
- Criminal Negligent Homicide
- Penal Law Article 130 or 263 offenses
Presumptive Release may be withheld if, while incarcerated, individuals commit a serious disciplinary infraction, file a frivolous lawsuit, or have sanctions imposed against them under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for litigation they have commenced against the State or its employees.
DOCCS, under the authority of the Commissioner, is responsible for granting approval for Presumptive Release. Although the Board of Parole is not the releasing authority, the Board is required to impose conditions of release. Individuals granted Presumptive Release will be under the supervision and jurisdiction of the Department until they are discharged from their sentence.
E. Limited Credit Time Allowance (LCTA)
Certain individuals serving either a determinate or indeterminate sentence for a crime that is not a Merit eligible offense as defined in Correction Law Section 803 may be eligible to earn a six-month Limited Credit Time Allowance (LCTA) against their sentences pursuant to Correction Law Section 803-B. This is providing they have achieved certain significant programmatic accomplishments, and have not committed a serious disciplinary infraction, maintained an overall poor institutional record, or filed any frivolous lawsuits.
In the case of an incarcerated individual serving a sentence with a maximum term of LIFE for an eligible A-1 felony, the six-month LCTA benefit is subtracted from the minimum period to establish the incarcerated individual's LCTA date. In the case of all other LCTA eligible offenses, the LCTA benefit is subtracted from the conditional release date to establish the incarcerated individual's LCTA date.
To be eligible for LCTA, an incarcerated individual must NOT be serving a sentence for any of the following offenses:
- Murder 1st degree
- An offense defined in Article 130 of the Penal Law
- An Attempt or Conspiracy to commit such offense
Qualifying offenses are as follows:
- Indeterminate sentence for a non-drug A-1 felony
- Determinate or indeterminate sentence for a violent felony offense as defined in subdivision 1 of Penal Law 70.02
- Determinate or indeterminate sentence for an offense defined in Article 125 of the Penal Law
An incarcerated individual must successfully pursue the recommended Earned Eligibility Plan (EEP) and Program Plan and successfully complete at least one of 12 significant program accomplishments.
One or more of the following must be completed during the current period of incarceration:
- A minimum of two (2) years successful participation in college programming to include of an Associates or Bachelor's Degree or earning a minimum of twenty-four (24) credits and a minimum of four (4) semesters participation;
- Successful completion of a Masters of Professional Studies Degree (Sing Sing CF);
- Two (2) years successful participation as an Inmate Program Associate (IPA);
- Receipt of certification from the NYS Department of Labor for successful participation in an apprenticeship program;
- Two (2) years successful work as an Inmate Hospice Aide;
- Two (2) years of successful participation in the Puppies Behind Bars Program;
- Receipt of certification as an optician from the American Board of Opticianry with two (2) years successful work in the Division of Correctional Industries Optical Program;
- Receipt of an Asbestos Handling Certificate from the Department of Labor with a minimum of 18 months of work in the Division of Correctional Industries Asbestos Abatement Program as a Hazardous Materials Removal Worker or a Hazardous Materials Removal Group Leader;
- Successful completion of the course curriculum and passing the minimum competency screening process performance exam for Sign Language Interpreter and a minimum of one (1) year of work as a Sign Language Interpreter for deaf individuals who are incarcerated;
- Two (2) consecutive years of participation in the Vocational Culinary Arts Program/Food Service, earning of a Culinary Arts Program/Food Service job title, a passing grade on the National Restaurant Association's ServSafe examination, and the receipt of a ServSafe Certificate;
- Successful completion of the 490 hour training program in the Department of Motor Vehicles Call Center, work for an additional period of at least 21 months in an Industries Worker assignment, and earning of the job title Customer Service Representative; and/or
- Successful completion of a minimum of 800 hours training in the Food Production Center in one of the seven (7) established job titles, earning of a Food Production Center program certificate, and work for an additional period of at least 18 months at the Food Production Center.
Individuals granted release under LCTA will be under the supervision and jurisdiction of the Department until they are discharged from their sentence.
F. Early Conditional Parole for Deportation Only (ECPDO) and Conditional Parole for Deportation Only (CPDO)
Section 259-I (2)(d)(i) of the New York State Executive Law permits "Conditional Parole for Deportation Only" (CPDO), which is a type of release decision granted by the Board of Parole to incarcerated individuals who have been issued a Final Order of Deportation by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Judge, and who have waived or exhausted their right to appeal the ICE Judge's order.
Incarcerated individuals sentenced to both determinate and indeterminate terms of incarceration are eligible for ECPDO/CPDO, provided they also meet the following criteria:
1. ECPDO Eligibility
- May not be convicted of an A-1 felony (except for Penal Law Article 220 drug felony)
- May not be convicted of a Violent Felony Offense as defined in Penal Law 70.02
- Must have served at least one-half (1/2) of the minimum indeterminate sentence or one-half (1/2) of the determinate CR
2. CPDO Eligibility
- Incarcerated individuals are eligible on or after they have reached their parole eligibility or conditional release date
- There are no disqualifying crimes
3. The Board may:
- Deny release and grant CPDO
- Grant release
- Deny release and deny CPDO
Incarcerated individuals or their attorneys who believe they meet the criteria for ECPDO eligibility should contact the facility SORC/ORC who will verify their eligibility and calendar them for a Board appearance.
G. Medical Parole
Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2009, Part J, amended Section 259-r and enacted Section 259-s of the Executive Law to allow for medical parole for those incarcerated individuals suffering both terminal and significant and permanent non-terminal condition, disease or syndrome, as well as incarcerated individuals who are cognitively incapable of presenting a danger to society.
Under these sections of the law, the Board of Parole may grant eligible incarcerated individuals release to medical parole for a period of six (6) months provided they are not serving a sentence for Murder 1st or attempt or conspiracy to commit Murder 1st.
Incarcerated individuals must have served one-half (1/2) of the minimum period of an indeterminate sentence or one-half (1/2) of their conditional release date for a determinate sentence if they are serving a sentence for:
- Murder 2nd
- Manslaughter 1st
- Any offense as defined in Article 130 of the Penal Law
- An attempt to commit any of these offenses
Such release shall be granted only after the Board considers whether, in light of the incarcerated individual's medical condition, there is a reasonable probability that the incarcerated individual if released, will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, and that such release is incompatible with the welfare of society and will not so deprecate the seriousness of the crime as to undermine respect for the law.
At any time during an incarcerated individual's sentence, the incarcerated individual or someone acting on their behalf, or a Department employee may make a request to be considered for medical parole.
H. Conditional Release
All incarcerated individuals, except those serving Life sentences, have a conditional release date equal to either one-third (1/3) off their maximum sentence for indeterminate sentences and one-seventh (1/7) off their maximum sentence for determinate sentences.
A Time Allowance Committee (TAC) will review an incarcerated individual's good time approximately four (4) months prior to the CR date at which time the CR date will either be certified or changed based upon whether there is a loss of good time.
Conditional Release is a statutory type of release that the Board of Parole does not have discretion to grant or deny. The following conditions must be met in order to be eligible for Conditional Release:
- An incarcerated individual must apply for conditional release; and
- An incarcerated individual must agree in writing to abide by the conditions of community supervision until the expiration of their maximum term, or post-release supervision maximum expiration date.
I. Maximum Expiration
Incarcerated individuals who reach the court imposed maximum expiration date of their sentence while incarcerated will be released from prison and discharged. Discharge upon reaching the maximum expiration of sentence may occur in response to an incarcerated individual's loss of all available good time or in response to an incarcerated individual's refusal to agree to the terms and conditions of conditional release.
Parole violators who receive a time assessment of “Hold to Maximum Expiration” will be discharged at the expiration of their sentence unless they are eligible for good time and can be released upon reaching their conditional release (CR) date. Parolees under supervision who reach the maximum expiration of their sentence to parole supervision will be discharged from their sentence.